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aomaunnada - Adichie

Speaking on a live Facebook video interview with UK’s Channel 4 News, Chimamanda Adichie comments on a series of hot-button issues ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement to Hilary Clinton’s candidacy and, of course, her short story about Donald Trump. The youtube video surfaced a few days ago, and we are more than delighted to share it with you.

Here are a few highlights to help you navigate your way through the 2-part video.

#BLM

Adichie is very much okay with the Black Lives Matter movement.  For the mere fact that they are “forcing [the realities of racial injustice] into the consciousness of Americans,” she thinks they are doing “an important thing.”

Hillary Clinton

It’s no news that Adichie is #WithHer, but it is nice to see her talk about why Hillary Clinton inspires her. Hillary has proven that she can handle the back-breaking, often un-glamorous part of being a public servant. Adichie remarks that even though she’s a non-US citizen and can’t vote, she knows enough to be convinced that Hilary is the right woman for the job.

Hair Fundamentalism

Adichie makes is clear that she’s totally over being called a “hair fundamentalist.” Her comment about being a “hair fundamentalist” was a passing remark made, half jokingly, during an interview. To those people who have held on to the term as some kind of declaration of militancy, Adichie is essentially saying “can we move on?”

Hair Politics

Adichie reopens her now established idea that hair is political but throws more light on the question by describing what a truly successful hair politics would look like. “What I would love is to not have it be something remarkable. It’d be lovely if it were just normal. It’d be lovely if we didn’t have to point out ‘well look there is the one person with natural hair isn’t that cool.’ Because in the end what you want is to be ordinary and normal. That’s really the ideal.”

Feminism as a Fad

By saying that everyone should become a feminist is Adichie, maybe, dumbing down feminism into a “trendy” thing? Adichie’s response is no! When we all become feminists, “it just simply means that life would be better for everyone. It means that people would be happier.”

The Ivanka Conundrum

Here is Adichie deconstructing the story she wrote about the Trump family. Spoiler: looks like Adichie has a soft spot for Ivanka Trump.

I thought it was humanizing. I hope that people who read that story came away thinking of Trump’s wife as human. I was interested in Trump’s daughter who seemed to me too reasonable and too intelligent to think that her father is the right choice for the US. So I wanted to write a story in which the women in his life who have their own motivation and who have agency and who somehow humor him, who are very much aware that he is an interesting person. I think that he’s a narcissist. There’s a sense in which I wanted to imagine the women in his life humoring his neediness, his pathologies, but but really knowing deep down that he is pathological. So in the story his daughter secretly supports Hilary Clinton because she, of course, knows who really is the better candidate for the US.

 

Watch!


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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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